Castlevania: The Netflix Series – A GameShampoo Review

Castlevania: The Netflix Series – A GameShampoo Review

 Castlevania Netflix Title

Castlevania is known for Dracula, his castle, the Belmonts, magic, and at least some crazy stories. Especially after the PlayStation hit, Symphony of the Night, the series also became known for its sprawling and massive world for players to explore. All that coupled with a beautiful soundtrack has helped make Castlevania the series that it is today. It's been 2 years since we got a Castlevania console game, even then it was the second game in a spin-off series. This is not a kid friendly show with blood, swearing and dismemberment normal and commonplace within it. There will be minor spoilers in this review to properly discuss the series, but no major plot points will be spoiled.


In terms of characters, we are working with a known timeline. Having opted for Trevor Belmont, this sets the series loosely around the game Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse. Each of the main characters introduced so far has been a playable character from the game. So far we have Syhpa Belnades and Adrian Tepes, aka Alucard, Dracula's son. They have 1 more that can be introduced, Grant Danasty, a Pirate from this game. It remains a question whether or not this will happen. The length of season 1 leaves the possibility.


When it comes to the story, the first season focuses on introducing people to the characters and world of Castlevania. We get to meet Lisa of Lupu, the one woman able to bring love into Dracula's life. We get to see them meet when she came to his castle to learn about medicine. She wants to actually cure people, not just sell them boiled nettles and entrails. She offers to help him learn to at least tolerate humanity in exchange for the knowledge of science he can offer. We get to see the event which precipitates all others in this series, the church burns Lisa Tepes at the stake for Witchcraft. We then see Dracula returning from his travels to learn about her death. Seeing their home burned to the ground, he gives into his fury and promises vengeance on all of Wallachia for what the church has done to his family. We are then brought forward to the time of the promised vengeance and see the beginning of Dracula's wrath brought onto the Earth. After all that we are introduced to Trevor Belmont in a bar where there are people talking about a local incident that involved one of the neighbors and a goat. The people in the bar complain about the noble houses and their fighting which gets the common people caught in the middle. Things do not go well for Trevor and he leaves worse for wear. We catch up with him outside Gresit at a later point. It is here the story of Gresit begins and where you will be for the rest of the season. This all works well to get the viewer's interest and make each character at least somewhat relatable.


The characters have plenty to them, thankfully. Trevor Belmont is a disillusioned man from the excommunication of his family by the church. He wanders the countryside, spending what little money he has on drink and cheap food. He wants little to do with the world now that his family has suffered the losses that it has and he is the last son of House Belmont. He does try to keep a low profile, but that only lasts so long once the show starts. When pressed, he can become the very capable Belmont fighter that he has been trained to be. Sypha, a Watcher-Magician is introduced in the second episode. She is quick to start searching for answers to find and help. She is strong-willed and capable in her crafts. She is quick to prove herself to the audience she is no damsel in distress. Being a Watcher she is well versed in the lore of Wallachia and looking for the “Sleeping Soldier” who is hidden under the city of Gresit. She lives up to what the Watchers mean to the world, to offer aid to those who are in need. The Bishop and the church play their antagonistic role well. They are determined to save Wallachia from the evil that lurks within it. Being the ones to set these events in motion and looking for anything they can blame for it, they fill this role very well. Finally, Dracula shows appropriate apathy toward humanity in the beginning and fiery rage and hate that has filled him after the events at the opening of the series. Going any deeper into detail is giving away the plot and not something we want to do.


The series does suffer a little for being as short as it is. With about 2 hours, it is an easy series to get through without much effort. The characters make their impressions, establish their motives and a few even grow a little, but little else. There are a number of nods to the video game series with what amounted to a few platforming segments. The plot felt rushed to keep up with the breakneck pace that a 4 episode series would need to give a decent arc. The biggest problem it suffers from is the setup. These 4 episodes felt satisfying in the short term, but there is a lot that feels set up heavy. We are introduced to the world, characters and its deep lore and then it just moves on. Some comeuppance is had in the series but there is a lot that remains to be seen. Things end on a note that would lead one to expect a scene during or after the credits of the final episode, but there is none.


If there is one thing we can praise, it is the animation. Things were very crisp and sharp. The blood did not generally spurt like a geyser, save for high-speed disembowelments where it splashed. The demons and humans were of the same quality all around. Seeing Dracula use his magic and powers was visually stunning. Where appropriate, the background stayed wonderfully complex and offered up a great scene to behold.

Castlevania Netflix

Already Season 2 has been confirmed. Some rumors are saying it could be out as soon as 6 months from the release of Season 1. At double the length of the first season, 8 episodes, there is a lot more room for things to grow and develop. This is great news given just how much was fit into the 4 episode Season 1. It is definitely worth watching when you have some time to sit down and enjoy the cussing, gore, and fighting.

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